6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, vacuum shopping guide

Vacuum shopping guide

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(ABC 6 News) – It might be winter outside, but the vacuum labs at Consumer Reports are all ready for when you get that spring cleaning itch!

Its testers share which canisters, uprights and stick vacs did the best in CR’s tough tests.

“So all of these tests would mimic what people would have in their house,” explains Consumer Reports’ Sue Booth.

Testers drop debris like rice, cereal, and sand on bare floors to see how many passes it takes for a vacuum to pick it up.

Pet hair a problem? CR checks that, too!

“A really good vacuum would pick up pet hair instantly and the hair wouldn’t get caught in the brush roll, it would make it up to the bin or the bag,” says Booth.

And then there’s this tough test which measures how much embedded sand a vacuum can lift from a carpet.

“So it’s almost as if you’re tracking in sand from the outside and you’re stepping on your carpet and you’re embedding it in the carpet, we want to see how well those vacuums are going to pick it up,” says Booth.

CR’s tests reveal you can get a great vacuum for under $300. If your home has wall to wall carpeting, an upright vacuum like the Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly is a good choice.

If you need to switch between bare floors and rugs, consider canister-style vacuums for their maneuverability.

The Kenmore performs just as well as a vacuum that costs more than a thousand dollars on bare floors, carpets and pet hair.

For quick cleanings, stick vacuums are an option. “Stick vacs are becoming more powerful and you could use a stick vac as your sole vacuum but that’s really if you have a small area or maybe bare floors,” says Booth.

CR says you can skip the battery-powered stick vacs and save hundreds with a corded stick vac like the recommended Shark model.

If you’re ready for a more hands-off approach to vacuuming, you may be interested in a robotic vacuum.

CR’s tests have found these robots continue to improve when it comes to cleaning performance and navigation, however, for deeper cleaning, you’ll still want a regular vacuum.